Qasr al Heir al-Sharqi
The Eastern Castle lies in the middle of the Syrian Desert, and was constructed in roughly 730 CE by the Umayyad caliph, Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik as a military and hunting outpost. It lies near the Bishri mountains and has a nearby counterpart castle at Qasr al-Hayr al-Gharbi. It was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list in 1999.
The castle consists of two square structures, one three times the size (diameter 300m) of the other. It also features a large open courtyard with thick bulwarks and towers at each corner. The towers are not believed to have served defensive purposes.
The site has not been well preserved, and remnants of rooms, arches and columns. The scale of the palaces as well as evidence of olive yards, multiple floors and mosques and gardens suggests that this was a huge and ornate royal complex.